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‘The Sandman:’ Kirby Howell-Baptiste on Tackling a ‘Completely Upended Idea’ of Death (Exclusive)



Taking on a character that’s arguably more visually iconic than a show’s titular character can be an intimidating task, but Kirby Howell-Baptise was more than ready to step up to the plate. 

“I don’t think it’s helpful when taking on something like this to be thinking about what comes after, whether that be people’s opinions or accolades or whatever. I think that in acting and in life, the way to be happy and satisfied is to be as present as possible,” the London-born actress tells ET. “So for me, being presented with the opportunity to play a role that I loved from the first time I read The Sandman superseded any fears or doubts I may have had about the reaction after.”

It’s a wise approach that isn’t unlike the confident attitude exhibited by Death, the big sister of The Sandman‘s nominal character. And luckily for viewers, that’s exactly who The Good Place alum portrays in Netflix’s long-awaited adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved comic series.  

Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Stephen Fry, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson and Mason Alexander Park also star in the series, with voice work from Patton Oswalt and Mark Hamill. 

While most depictions in popular culture show Death as an ominous harbinger of sorrow, symbolizing our universal fear of mortality, Gaiman’s Grim Reaper is a decidedly more charismatic character. Known as the second-oldest of the Endless — aka the children of Time and Night who were born just as the universe was put into motion — Death was created just as life became a reality in the universe and is destined to be the last being left once the universe itself dies. The knowledge of her place in the grand scheme of the universe lends a sense of grounded peace to the character that her siblings notably lack. 

“I think what was most surprising to me when I first read The Sandman — and what I think will be really surprising to the fans that we gain who have no idea of the comic and are starting fresh from the show — is this completely upended idea of Death,” Howell-Baptise shares with ET. 

“We’re so used to the doom and the gloom and the darkness, and to find a character that actually brings a lot of light and a lot of positivity, a lot of sort of nurturing and care to Death, I think will be really surprising,” she explains. “And I think it will continue, because I’ve spoken to Neil about this, about how that role has offered a lot of comfort to people throughout the years. And I think it will continue to do that.”

And according to series creator and executive producer, Howell-Baptise was an easy choice to join the production. Gaiman told Entertainment Weeklythat Howell-Baptise held a unique quality of “being able to speak honestly to power” that made her an automatic standout in auditions. 

“We saw a lot of Deaths, well into the many hundreds. But Kirby had a quality that was unique of being able to speak honestly to power,” Gaiman recalled. “That honesty, and the fact that she could deliver those lines and you believe them, were what sold me on Kirby 100 percent. We had supermodels, we had all sorts of amazing people a lot more famous than Kirby auditioning. But I didn’t believe they were Death, I didn’t believe they were Tom’s big sister that could boss him around. Then Kirby came on and it was just like, ‘I love you, I believe you, and you’re it.'”

The Sandman is streaming now on Netflix.

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Adamma and Adanne Ebo Ink Multi-Year Overall Deal with 20th Television and 20th Television Animation



The Ebo twins, Adamma and Adanne Ebo, have entered a multi-year overall deal with 20th Television and 20th Television Animation. Under the deal, they will develop, create and produce live-action and animated series for all platforms. Currently, the Ebo twins are developing “Supashawty Girls, Funkamatic Bangbang” with 20th Television Animation for Freeform.

The American-Nigerian filmmaking duo made their feature film debut with “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul” starring Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and will be released widely on Sept. 2. Adamma wrote and directed the film with Adanne producing. Their TV writing credits include Donald Glover and Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming series “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” as well as pilot spec “Supply, 40” with Gloria Sanchez and MRC. Adamma has directed an episode of Glover’s “Atlanta” at FX and three episodes of Glover and Amazon’s “Hive.” They are repped by UTA, Redefine Entertainment and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP.

“20th continues to be flexible in an ever-evolving TV landscape, while supporting various creative sensibilities,” the Ebo twins said. “And as creators with a non-stop running list of ideas, we’re super hype to have studio partners who are just as committed to adding and challenging the television cultural zeitgeist in both animation and live-action.”

“We are all huge fans of Adamma and Adanne’s work and are thrilled they’ve decided to make 20th their home,” said 20th Television executive vice president Carolyn Cassidy. “Their talent and original storytelling as comedy creators and directors is undeniable and aligns perfectly with our vision to develop and bring innovative and dynamic comedic stories to all of our platform partners. It was a bonus to find out they’re also longtime Disney fans!”

“I bonded instantly with Adamma and Adanne because they are just as obsessed with animation as we are,” said 20th Television animation executive vice president Marci Proietto. “The Ebo Twins have unique voices and perspectives with countless stories to tell. I am super excited to welcome them to our 20th Animation family.”

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For All Mankind Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail)



Warning: SPOILERS for For All Mankind Season 3 Finale – “Stranger In A Strange Land”A shocking terrorist attack at NASA in For All Mankind season 3’s finale completely changes the space race and escalates the drama on Earth and Mars for season 4. In For All Mankind season 3’s penultimate episode, Commanders Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall) and Grigory Kuznetsov (Lev Gorn) were stunned to discover that there was someone else on Mars: a North Korean astronaut named Lt. Colonel Lee Jung-Gil (C.S. Lee). To everyone’s surprise, it turns out the North Koreans launched a Mars mission weeks before NASA, Helios, and the Soviet Roscosmos initiated their race to the Red Planet. Therefore, in the alternate history of Apple TV+’s acclaimed sci-fi series, Lt. Colonel Lee Jung-Gil is the real first person on Mars!


For All Mankind season 3’s finale, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” detailed the harrowing months Lee Jung-Gil spent alone on Mars until Danielle and Grigory came across him. On Mars, the primary crisis involved how to transport the pregnant Kelly Baldwin (Cynthy Wu) to the orbital Phoenix spacecraft so that she can safely give birth. Thanks to an ingenious plan by Aleida Rosales (Coral Peña) at NASA, Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) piloted a daring mission to break Mars orbit and safely deliver Kelly to the Phoenix. However, back at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Jimmy Stevens (David Chandler) tried to stop his friends from committing a terrorist act against NASA. Karen Baldwin (Shantel VanSanten) saved Jimmy and tried to warn security but once they were caught, Jimmy’s terrorist friends detonated their car bomb. The results were devastating and have upended everything going into For All Mankind season 4.

For All Mankind season 3 centered on a three-way space race to Mars, with the astronaut teams led by Danielle, Grigory, and Ed forced to work together as tragedies and calamities piled up on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt) realized she had become a kompromat whom the Soviets manipulated as an asset, the discovery of which tormented Aleida. In the White House, President Ellen Wilson (Jodi Balfour) decided that the only way to protect her husband Larry (Nate Corddry) from a scandal that would bring down her Presidency is to publicly admit she is gay, which finally allows her to live openly as her true self. Meanwhile, billionaire and Helios Aerospace founder Dev Ayesa (Edi Gathegi) found himself pushed out of his own company in favor of Karen Baldwin being installed as the new CEO. But For All Mankind season 3’s finale has rearranged the show’s game board once again, and here’s every major event in “Stranger in a Strange Land” and what it all means.

Every Major Character Who Died In For All Mankind‘s Season 3 Finale

There were many casualties as a result of the terrorist bombing at Johnson Space Center but in terms of For All Mankind‘s main cast, there were two major deaths and one character only believed to be dead. Karen Baldwin died from her injuries after she was caught in the brunt of the explosion and was buried underneath debris. When Jimmy found her and tried to dig her out, Karen was already at death’s door and the last thing she saw was the clouds parting to give her a view of space, which she always hated and took so much from her. Jimmy now has to live with his role in Karen’s death in For All Mankind season 4, and he’ll have to answer to Ed, Kelly, and his brother, Danny (Casey W. Johnson), when they get back to Earth.

However, Molly Cobb (Sonya Walger) also died as a result of the JSC bombing, which may have escaped some viewers. Molly’s death was made official in the newspaper headline that landed on Sergei Nikulov’s (Piotr Adamczyk) lawn, which announced that NASA was renaming the rebuilt Johnson Space Center as the Molly Cobb Space Center. After the bombing, Molly, who is blind, heroically helped lead other survivors to safety. The newspaper’s story details that Molly was last seen reentering the remains of the JSC to look for more survivors and Molly’s body was recovered 7 days later. Like Karen, Molly was part of For All Mankind since season 1. They are both beloved characters who are huge losses to the show, and they will be missed.

Finally, when she searched for her mentor, Aleida found Margo’s office completely destroyed by the explosion. For All Mankind left her (and the audience, briefly) believing that Margo was also dead until her true fate was revealed in the final seconds of “Stranger in a Strange Land.”

How The JSC Terrorist Bombing Sets Up For All Mankind Season 4

The bombing of the Johnson Space Center, which happened in 1995 and resembles the real-life Oklahoma City bombing that same year, will force NASA to change its leadership. However, the fact that the Justice Department was ready to arrest Margo, the head of NASA for treason, had the bombing not happened would have also created a void at the top of NASA. Someone will have to replace Margo as NASA’s director, and the most likely candidates are Ed Baldwin, Ellen Wilson, Danielle Poole, and Aleida Rosales.

By For All Mankind season 4, Ed will realistically be too old to go back into space, and running NASA may be his best career move. Similarly, Ellen’s heart has always been at NASA, and running the agency could be her next step when she’s no longer President. Danielle may also be tapped to run NASA but she likely still has one more season of being an astronaut to come. However, Aleida was always groomed as Margo’s heir apparent, and Madison essentially passed the torch to her during what became Margo’s farewell speech to the flight control team. However NASA restructures, which will also provoke a response from their rival agencies in Russia, North Korea, and Helios, it will radically affect the future of the space program and the continued colonization of Mars.

How Karen’s Death Changes Ed, Kelly, And Danny In For All Mankind

Karen’s death is a real tragedy, especially since she has so many family ties. Karen is mourned by her daughter Kelly, her ex-husband Ed, and also the Stevens family, and Karen will never get to meet her grandchild, who was born to Kelly in Mars orbit, Karen essentially raised Danny and Jimmy while their deceased astronaut parents, Gordo (Michael Dorman) and Tracy (Sarah Jones), were in space, so they’re essentially a part of the Baldwin family. Danny, of course, fell in love with Karen in For All Mankind season 2, and he slept with her (which Danny still hasn’t confessed to Ed, although Jimmy knows). Karen was also a fascinating character who reinvented her career every season, starting from a housewife to becoming CFO of Helios Aerospace. Her death will have a lasting impact on many For All Mankind characters in season 4.

Will Dev & Helios Return In For All Mankind Season 4?

Karen’s death will also force major changes at Helios Aerospace, which will hopefully return, along with Dev Ayesa, in For All Mankind season 4. Thanks to Karen, Dev lost the confidence of his devoted employees, and he walked out on the company he founded. But with Karen gone, Dev could return to Helios, or he could make good on his promise to start a new company. Dev remains committed to colonizing Mars so that should continue in season 4. But if Dev doesn’t return to run Helios again, it’s possible Bill Strausser (Noah Harpster) could be the new CEO, unless a new character is introduced in For All Mankind season 4.

Who Will Be President In For All Mankind Season 4?

It remains to be seen if Ellen Wilson politically survives coming out as gay and gets a second term as President, or if her Presidency ends in its first term. Regardless, Ellen won’t be POTUS when For All Mankind returns for season 4, so who will be in the White House in 2003? Possibilities include George W. Bush and Al Gore, who battled for the Presidency in 2000. Another likelihood is Hillary Clinton, who may win the White House as revenge for Ellen beating her husband, Bill Clinton, in the 1992 election. 2003 may be too early for Barack Obama to become President in For All Mankind‘s universe, but it could still happen later on in season 4 or in season 5.

Will NASA Go To Jupiter In For All Mankind Season 4?

By every measure, the combined efforts of NASA, Roscosmos, and Helios to colonize Mars have been a disaster, with 7 astronauts from all three agencies dead and the loss of vital spacecraft and equipment. For All Mankind season 3 ended with all of the astronauts opting to remain on the Red Planet until NASA can rescue them, and they committed their remaining resources to safely deliver Kelly to the Phoenix so she could give birth. In addition, the Mars team added a new member from North Korea, while they also banished Danny Stevens to the Korean spacecraft as punishment for causing the drill disaster that killed their colleagues. However, life on Mars may be thriving in For All Mankind season 4. If so, the next stop in exploring the solar system would be Jupiter, but without President Wilson, it remains to be seen if NASA has the clout and political backing to reach the Gas Giant.

How Margo Being In Russia Changes The Space Race

The reports of Margo Madison’s death at the JSC bombing were greatly exaggerated, and For All Mankind season 3 ended with the revelation that Margo now living in Russia in 2003. This means that Roscosmos’ director, Lenara Catiche (Vera Cherny), got Margo out of the United States. But questions abound as to how and when. Was Margo caught in the JSC bombing and survived or did the Russians get her out before the explosion? (And did the Russians know about the planned terrorist attack?) If Ms. Madison is believed dead from the bombing, then Margo is now living in secret in the USSR. Unfortunately, it’s likely Margo now has no choice but to work for Roscosmos. Ironically, Margo is now trapped in the Soviet Union just as Sergei and his family defected to America, which Margo enabled.

Of course, having the former director of NASA now working for Roscosmos, voluntarily or not, is a coup for the Russians. Margo is still a brilliant engineer who knows everything about NASA since the 1960s. How much information Margo will give the Russians will determine the next phase of the space race. Tragically, the finale’s title “Stranger in a Strange Land” ultimately refers to Margo. Who knows if Margo will be able to come back to the United States in For All Mankind season 4?

For All Mankind Season 4 Time Jump Explained

Every season of For All Mankind moves the story about a decade past the previous season so For All Mankind season 4 now brings our characters into 2003, although the show’s first decade of the 21st century will be very different from the real world’s. For Ed, Margo, Danielle, Aleida, and others who have been around since For All Mankind season 1, they are all now over 30 years older than when the show started. It also means technology will have changed by leaps and bounds since the space race accelerated technological development like helium-fusion, electric cars, and combating climate change.

For All Mankind season 3 already had laptops and cellphones in the mid-1990s as well as flatscreen HDTVs. For All Mankind season 4 could introduce holographic technology next. Meanwhile, For All Mankind is heavily influenced by Star Trek, with many Easter eggs throughout the series dropped in by the many Star Trek alums in the writers’ room. Thus far, the show has resisted sci-fi tropes like warp drive and introducing aliens to maintain its realism. But could NASA develop faster-than-light travel (i.e. warp drive), which would enable rapid space flight to Jupiter and beyond in For All Mankind season 4?

For All Mankind Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Apple TV+.

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‘Stranger Things’: Megan Thee Stallion Grills Natalia Dyer on Steve vs. Jonathan Love Triangle



Megan Thee Stallion has a bone to pick with Natalia Dyer. More specifically, her Stranger Things character, Nancy, and the complex love triangle she has found herself in. 

While co-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, Megan put Natalia through the ringer with a hilarious line of questioning about how Nancy has navigated her relationships with Steve (Joe Keery) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton, whom Dyer is dating in real life) — and even her late BFF Barb (Shannon Purser).

“At first you liked Steve — you was into Steve,” Megan begins. “Then, you just kinda like dumped him. No caution, he didn’t know what was happening. Poor Steve! Y’all keep throwing the kids on him, the babies, he keeps savin’ y’all’s life. All he do is save y’all’s life. He was beating everybody up. She’s like ‘Aw, man, I’m going to Jonathan’s. Sorry!”

Without pledging her own allegiance to “Team Jancy” or “Team Stancy,” Dyer attempts to at least justify some of Nancy’s choices. 

“I think the way that Jonathan and Nancy happened, she doesn’t always make the most morally right decisions all the time,” Dyer says. “But that’s human, you know.”

Megan, calling Nancy “a hot girl,” then calls her out for flirting with Steve in season four while still in a long-distance relationship with Jonathan. “What’s it really giving?!” Megan presses. “I feel like you like Steve, still.” 

“I have options, I guess?” Dyer replies with a laugh before Megan turns up the heat further by bringing up whether Nancy even misses Barb, who was killed in the show’s first season. 

“That’s above my pay grade,” Dyer jokes. “I never am allowed to forget about Barb. I get it. It’s part of Nancy’s arc, it definitely drives her forward. Has she completely dealt with it? I don’t know. But, yeah, we have not forgotten about Barb.” 

As for making a choice between dating Jonathan or Steve in the future, Dyer thinks Nancy should just take a breather. 

“I think she probably needs a little ‘me time,'” she says. “Maybe a little therapy, even. They’re still in high school.” 

Stranger Things is streaming now on Netflix while Megan’s new album, Traumazine, dropped Friday. 


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